Dozens of rats call Hemming Plaza home

Downtown Jacksonville business owner says rats 'have the run of the place'

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Dozens of rats have made Hemming Plaza in Jacksonville their home.

As part of an investigation into the rodent problem, Channel 4's cameras inside the plaza have captured their every move as the rats burrow into corners.

The situation frustrates Jerry Moran, owner of La Cena  Restaurant.

"If somebody comes to town and they want to walk through City Hall, they have to walk through that mess and see the garbage and see the rats," said Moran.

La Cena sits across from the park. Moran said he has never seen a similar rat problem in the area. 

"They have the run of the place," said Moran. "The rats and the vagrants have the run of downtown."

In a statement to Channel 4, the city said the Department of Public Works is working to stop the rodent problem with increased pest control solutions.

"As an urban park, Hemming Plaza is subject to rodent populations that the city of Jacksonville addresses through pest control practices," the statement read. "Because it is a park destination, we use traps, but in order to guard human safety, cannot use poison."  

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